The trial of a Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson soldier accused of murdering his wife and baby last April began Thursday.
Spc. Kip Lynch, who returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan a month before the fatal shooting, claims he doesn't remember anything about the weekend his family was killed and he was shot in the head.
Prosecutor Gustaf Olson repeatedly told jurors the evidence shows Lynch killed 19-year-old Raquell Lynch and his 8-month-old baby, Kyirsta, then tried to kill himself. Lynch survived the headshot wound for three days, until he was found in their home by fellow soldiers after he didn’t report for duty the following Monday.
His attorney says the head injury caused memory loss and Lynch’s mother-in-law, Raquell's mother Christy Kulik, says he has forgotten many details of his life -- especially memories of the days leading up to the shootings on Friday, April 23.
Lynch later sent Kulik an apology letter, saying the shooting was an accident. His best friend, John Pitts, is expected to testify for the prosecution that Raquell Lynch intended to leave her husband -- but the defense told jurors they should question Pitts’ credibility, since his account of what happened the night of the shooting changed multiple times.
While defense attorney Dan Lowery said Pitts’ testimony is hearsay and asked Judge Michael Spaan to exclude it, prosecutors said “it goes to motive.” Spaan agreed, saying it gives insight into the impact that a separation could have on Lynch.
In opening statements the defense claimed Lynch couldn't have killed his family, and pointed out the lack of forensic evidence in the case.
"They never even dusted the gun for fingerprints," Lowery said.
The trial is expected to last three weeks.
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